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Ulema hint towards support for 12-3pm lockdown today after meeting CM Murad

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah met Pakistani Ulema, including Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman on Thursday to arrive at an agreement after the latter said mosques will not be subject to the lockdown from now on.

In a video message after the meeting and standing with Rehman, Murad thanked Ulema and said that the lockdown will take place. “I thank all the ulemas for cooperating with us so far. Hopefully, on Saturday, as agreed with the federal government, new SOPs will be drafted for the mosques,” he said.

“Everything will be closed during the lockdown, while mosques will remain open for the limited congregation,” he said.

“I have told police to not take strict measures against people going into mosques during the lockdown[…] In the meantime I appeal to the public for cooperation,” he said.

“The masses should refrain from praying in the mosques,” he said.

Mufti Muneeb said that in his meeting with the prime minister on April 18, he hoped to achieve a consensus with PM Imran.

The top cleric appealed to the masses and scholars to cooperate with the authorities tomorrow — as several people gather to offer the Friday prayer — and ensure that no unfortunate event takes place.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, a day earlier, had invited Mufti Muneeb to attend a meeting on April 18 where a joint decision over Friday prayers and Itikaf will be taken.

On Tuesday, Qadri, had urged ulema to develop consensus rather than take individual decisions. He said that clerics from all sects would be taken into confidence in the meeting on April 18.

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